"Cardcaptor Sakura": The Sealed Card Also Seals the TV Dub Away
Cardcaptor Sakura is yet another anime with a troubled US history. When it aired on Kids WB, the series was aired out-of-order, the voice cast sounded older than they were supposed to, and the series tried to focus more towards Li than Sakura. Though the original Japanese version was released separately, fans still wished for a faithful dub. Ladies and gentlemen, that dub has arrived.
Four months have passed since the TV series ended, and Sakura still hasn’t told Shaoran Li that she loves him. Tomoyo (yes, Tomoyo, not Madison) decides to speed things up by inviting Li and Meilin to Japan to celebrate the opening of a new amusement park that is being built on Eriol’s house. However, trouble abounds as a mysterious entity makes objects and people disappear. Not only that, but Sakura’s Clow Cards, now all Sakura Cards, are being stolen from her. Yue and Keroberos are no match for this being’s power. In order to stop it, Sakura must make a powerful sacrifice.
If you enjoyed the TV series at all, then you’ll love Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie 2: The Sealed Card. Sakura herself–clumsy, dense, yet oh so adorable– is a joy to watch. Tomoyo is still her scheming self, taking any and all opportunities to capture Sakura on film. The plot fizzles out at the end, heading towards a non-violent ending, but those who know CCS know what to expect. The story itself seems much grander than the first movie, and the action is better as well, even if Li’s mom doesn’t appear. The best part? That stupid penguin slide only appears in the intro. I don’t know exactly why, but I friggin’ hate that stupid slide.
Visually, the animation is amazing. Keroberos’ and Yue’s attacks are beautifully animated, and the first few minutes, when Sakura is practicing her skills, are simply amazing to behold, and all the effects are simply perfect. (And it’s all the more amazing considering that they were all done before digital animation came along.) The costumes are also wonderfully animated and very detailed. But, then again, when is Sakura’s costume not elaborate?.
And now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the English dub. Well, rest easy, the dub here is simply excellent. Sakura herself is voiced by Kari Wahlgren (Haruko in FLCL and Robin in Witch Hunter Robin) and it is a perfect choice. For once Sakura actually sounds like a 10-year-old! Plus, Kari is able to faithfully reproduce Sakura’s unique scream perfectly. Shaoran is played by Mona Marshall (Izzy in Digimon), and her voice fits pretty well for the most part, though it’s not as perfect a match as Kari is for Sakura, but it is much better than the TV series got it. Georgette Rose (Dojima in Witch Hunter Robin, Zoe in Digimon, Chi in Chobits) is simply perfect as Tomoyo, capturing Tomoyo’s wisdom and sneakiness wonderfully. Those who didn’t like Kero’s voice in the TV series will be pleased to hear Wendee Lee (Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop, Kiva in Megas XLR) play the talking stuffed animal. Fan-favorites Steven Blum (Spike in Cowboy Bebop, TOM on Toonami) and Johnny Young Bosch (Vash in Trigun, Adam in Power Rangers) also make cameos as Mr. Tereda and Eriol Hiiragizawa, respectively. The voices match up very well to the Japanese version and give the dub the same quaint, calm feeling as the original version.
Extras-wise, the Special Edition is decent. The main extra is a nine-minute Kero/Suppie short that plays out kind of like the Pikachu shorts for the Pokémon movies: Hilarity ensues as the two stuffed dolls chase after the bouncing Takiyuki ball. Aside from that, you have an art gallery, some Japanese commercials and trailers, a photo album insert, and a mini-pencil board. The cover can be taken out and used as a reversible cover/mini-poster as well if you wish. The standard edition lacks the Kero-chan short, the photo album, the reversible cover, and the pencil board.
Overall, if you a fan at all of Cardcaptor Sakura, you simply must pick up this DVD. If this is how the TV series had gone, there would not be any complaints from fans. Way to go, Geneon.